The Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAAB), Abuja, has assured that the institution is fully ready for resumption and academic activities earlier than January 18 stipulated by the National University Commission (NUC).
The University said further that it has elected to adopt hybrid method of teaching – physical and virtual classes, not only to ensure compliance with the COVID – 19 guidelines but also to make room for a speedy academic calendar that could clear the backlog of outstanding sessions, including the 2019/2020 session that is just commencing.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Felix Kolawole Salako, disclosed this while briefing the press on Tuesday, assuring that the University has enough internet-based facilities and physical structures to implement the hybrid method that entails virtual learning and physical teaching.
Prof. Salako said the nation’s public universities face a dicey situation, expressing the fear that while they contend with the challenges of having backlog of unfinished academic sessions due to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, it could worsen if the system is allowed to be hurt further by another threat of strike this time, from the Non – Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU).
He also expressed concern that the leadership of the FUNAAB branch of ASUU could tell the public that the institution was not yet ready for resumption given the realities of COVID 19, whereas adequate arrangements had been put in place to address all issues pertaining to COVID -19 protocols.
He said: “This University has enough internet-based facilities and physical structures to do a combination of virtual learning as well as physical teaching that would be hybrid in nature given the realities of COVID 19 and we are fully implementing all protocols spelt out by the NCDC.
“It is laughable when certain academic staff say FUNAAB cannot handle online classes whereas it is on record that the University did virtual learning for pupils of our primary school and even our secondary school while we even used our FUNAAB Radio to relay online lectures.
“I think it is about time that our academics woke up to the new reality. Even some state universities have already started online teaching. We have all it takes for our students to excel through the various platforms that we have set up.
“And, I believe our lecturers are fully ready. It is only a handful of them involved in discrediting the university. As far as I am concerned, there is no course that cannot be taught online.”
In attendance at the press briefing include the President, Students Union Government of the university, Comrade Michael Oloyede who led his executives to pass a vote of confidence on the Vice-Chancellor for massive rehabilitation of the campus in readiness for them, pledging that the students will be of good behaviour as a way of reciprocating the management’s gesture.